By Festus Okoromadu
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday admitted the shares of UBA Capital Plc and Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, on its Daily Official List. The two companies were separated from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Group in line with a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks unbundle their Group structures.
The event which was the first listing of the year was also historical as Africa Prudential Registrars Plc became the first Registrar Company to be listed on the NSE in Nigeria.
A total of Four billion units of Ordinary shares of UBA Capital Plc were listed at N1.16 while One billion shares of Africa Prudential Registrars Plc were listed on the NSE at N1.59 per share.
The simultaneous listing of the two firms was sequel to the adoption of a monoline commercial banking structure by UBA Plc, as approved by shareholders on Thursday, December 13, 2012 which necessitated the divestment of non-commercial banking businesses from the UBA Group.
Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO, NSE, described the listings of the two companies as a milestone in the history of the Nigerian capital market noting that it came at the right time, especially now that the Exchange is enjoying confidence of both local and foreign investors.
The Group Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, who alongside the Group CEO UBA Capital, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa and the MD/CEO of APR, Mr. Peter Ashade, performed the traditional ringing of the closing bell on the floor of the Exchange stated that “Aside from achieving compliance with the directive of the CBN, we believe that shareholders of UBA Capital and APR, who are also the shareholders of UBA Plc will derive significant benefit from having the separate businesses focus firmly on their core expertise.” He further assured the market that UBA Plc will continue to support the two companies for the benefit of their common shareholders.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa alluded to the potential synergy that will be derived from the component businesses of UBA Capital which are Investment Banking, Trusteeship, Asset Management, Insurance and Stock Brokerage. He stated that “our overall strategic intent is to build our various subsidiary businesses to be leaders in their respective markets. We believe this can be achieved over the next 3– 5 years,” he added.
In the same vein, Peter Ashade, the MD/CEO, Africa Prudential Registrar affirmed that the firm links technology to the attainment of its strategic objectives and is one of the market leaders in its industry in Nigeria.“The company is one of the most profitable in the industry having achieved 100 per cent increase in profit before tax between 2010 and 2011, a performance which it expects to surpass in 2012. Our Return on Equity (ROE) continues to improve year-on-year, a clear indication that Management is focused on extracting value from resources and enhancing returns for shareholders”